Two sides with porous defences and penetrative strikeforces locked heads in the pouring rain at AAMI Park, with predictable results.
In truth, it was one of the games of the season. Perth had a point to prove and pounced on Victory from the opening minute, but it wasn't enough as Leroy George led Victory to a 3-2 triumph
Kenny Lowe’s side won a corner a minute in, that eventually turned into a Scott Neville headed-goal via a delightful cross from Walter Scott.
Victory worked their way back into the contest and got their reward when James Troisi scrambled the ball over the line from a Diego Castro giveaway.
As soon as the second half began, Mark Milligan put Victory back into the lead, but the seesawing continued as Diego Castro rectified his earlier mistake with a fantastic chip over Matt Acton.
The action wasn't over yet. Leroy George - who finished with three assists - had the last laugh, dinking over the scrambling Perth backline to tee up Kosta Barbarouses for a brilliant winner with seconds remaining.
George looked relieved after the match, keen to acknowledge the difficulties Victory have faced.
“We know it will be very difficult to play 3 games in eight days, today was a very important game for us,” he grinned.
“It’s very important that we win this game (because) we were the better team and yeah," he added, "Melbourne is nice.”
Liam Reddy was on the other end of the emotional spectrum, but held it together to pledge his support for Kenny Lowe.
“Disappointing to concede late, we go to Brisbane tomorrow so we’ve got a week off and can focus on turning it around,” he said.
“We back (Lowe) 100%, he’s got our support and we need to repay him the faith he’s shown in us.”